It was another winning weekend during the World Karting Association (WKA) Manufacturers Cup this past weekend at the famed Daytona International Speedway. Dominating the X30 Junior category, SCR driver Zane Maloney was on a mission scoring two pole positions and two podium results including an impressive victory on Saturday, showing that last year’s victory was no fluke.
With the event traditionally taking place December 28-30, this year those dates would fall on Thursday through Saturday with the first on track day of the weekend providing competitors with six practice sessions. Friday saw the first wheel-to-wheel action of the weekend and that is when Speed Concepts would rise to the top as they have on so many other occasions.
In the X30 Junior category, Zane Maloney took the pole position while multi-time champion Tyler Gonzalez turned the sixth quickest circuit of the session. SCR newcomer Cody Krucker would put three in the top-ten with his tenth place effort. In the prefinal, Maloney held station and take the top spot while Krucker advanced forward five positions to end his race in fifth. Gonzalez ran into trouble on the opening lap and was classified in 39th, and would be forced to start the main event from the tail of the field.
The final would provide some dramatic action as Maloney broke out to an early lead only to battle hard with a pair of drivers in the later stages. When the final checkered flag would fly, Maloney ended his event in the third position while Krucker scored a fifth place result. Gonzalez was the hard charger of the race as he drove from his 39th place starting position to end up in the 15th position.
Sunday saw a much different day as warmer weather moved into the area but the front of the field would remain the same. Maloney scored the day’s pole position while Gonzalez joined his SCR teammate on the front row. Krucker had another great qualifying session and started his prefinal from fifth. Maloney and Gonzalez made it a 1-2 finish in the prefinal and then again in the main event putting a pair of Speed Concepts Racing drivers on the podium. Krucker would fall back in the prefinal and end the main event in 25th.
In the IAME Mini Swift class, Speed Concepts entered Alex Powell, Noah Baker and Calem Maloney in a stout field of drivers. While all SCR competitors would have up and down weekends, the goal was to gain as much experience as possible and progress towards the popular winter karting programs.
Throughout the three-day event, all three drivers showed constant improvement highlighted by Alex Powell running in third position in Saturday’s main event before a scary incident that relegated him to the sidelines. Calem Maloney drove forward closing the weekend with a solid sixth place result, a huge improvement from the first official sessions of the weekend. Noah Baker also showed progression throughout the WKA weekend improving with each passing session to close the weekend with a 16th place finish on Saturday.
“The Mini Swift category is one of the toughest ones in karting,” explained Speed Concepts Racing’s Mike Speed. “There are a lot of talented kids and everything needs to be perfect to stand atop the podium. Alex, Noah and Calem did a good job this weekend in staying out of trouble and gaining some valuable race laps. As a team, we made huge strides in the program and I am very confident moving forward. While we will compete in some other WKA competition, we used this weekend to better prepare ourselves for the highly competitive fields that we will see in January.”
Speed added, “We have very little time off as we will head to Homestead this coming weekend for a test during the local event down there before the first round of the SKUSA Winter Series and then the Florida Winter Tour the following weekend. It is a busy time but we love it. Happy New Year.”
Be sure to follow Speed Concepts Racing on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates throughout the event, and a full race report to follow the event. Find them at ‘Speed Concepts Racing’ or @SCR_Karting.